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Mar 4, 2020,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Watches and connected wristwear: a rapidly-growing market

Five years after the release of the first Apple Watch which blazed a trail in the sector, the smart watch market is going from strength to strength. While the California-based company is still the only firm to be able to move large quantities of its products at high prices, it is no longer the market-leader, with Chinese company Xiaomi having taken top spot courtesy of its cheaper models.

Pixabay / FitNishMedia


The connected wristwear market is booming, five years after its arrival on the tech scene. The Apple Watch, which was launched in September 2014, created a new sector in which various different brands have been trying to establish themselves ever since. And while Apple was market-leader for a number of years, Chinese firm Xiaomi has now overhauled them according to a study published on 13 December by market researchers Canalys, French website Objet Connected reports.


Xiaomi dominating the market


In the third quarter of 2019, 15% of smart watches were produced by Apple compared with 27% for Xiaomi. Over the same period, sales of all brands increased significantly by 65% year-on-year, with 45.5 million items of smart wristwear sold. The end of that quarter saw the release of the latest Apple model called the Watch 5, which represented 60% of all smart watches sold over the period.

Xiaomi’s quarterly performances were also impressive, on the back of the popularity of its Mi Band 4. The Chinese firm sold 12.2 million devices, representing year-on-year growth of 74%. Its success is partly down to its affordable prices, with its most popular product retailing at 40 euros compared with 449 euros for the Apple Watch 5...


Apple still leading the luxury end of the market


While the California-based tech giant is no longer the market-leader, it is still the only player in the sector which can sell large quantities at a high price. Indeed, Apple enjoyed its highest growth levels in two years in the third quarter of 2019 in the connected wristwear market.

The company which seems to be losing out the most is FitBit, whose products now represents only 8% of sales. Having been bought out by Google last November for 2.1 billion US dollars, they are also the only firm in the sector whose sales have gone down in 2019.


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Cover image : Pixabay / Free-Photos

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